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Khris Middleton to join James Harden, Kevin Durant on Team USA's growing roster

·4 min read
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Team USA's roster is rapidly expanding. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers will be joining James Harden and Kevin Durant in Tokyo, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

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Middleton is still playing with the Bucks in the NBA playoffs.

Harden reportedly commits to Team USA

James Harden won't win an NBA championship in 2021, but a gold medal is a pretty good consolation prize. Harden will reportedly join Brooklyn Nets teammate Kevin Durant as a member of Team USA, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Harden will reportedly join the team despite dealing with a hamstring injury during the NBA playoffs. Some star players — like LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers — have opted out of the event following the quick turnaround of the 2020-21 NBA season.

That won't be the case with Harden, who injured himself a minute into Game 1 against the Milwaukee Bucks. He missed the next three games in the series before returning for Game 5. Harden wasn't himself in that contest, scoring just five points. He performed better in Game 6 and Game 7, but the Nets still lost the series. 

Team USA will begin its training camp July 6, giving Harden a few more weeks to rest his hamstring.

Kevin Durant high-fives James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets.
Kevin Durant and James Harden will play for Team USA. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Who will join James Harden and Kevin Durant on Team USA?

Durant and Harden are expected to be joined by Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. Durant will also reunite with Golden State Warriors big man Draymond Green for the event. Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum are also expected to play for Team USA. 

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker reportedly committed to the team, though Booker is still active in the NBA playoffs. He could change his mind depending on how tired he is once the Suns season is over. For now, he's reportedly playing for Team USA. 

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo committed to join the team Monday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

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Which NBA stars have turned down the 2021 Olympics?

James strongly hinted he won't play at the Olympics in 2021, saying he would be playing for the Tune Squad over the offseason. James' "Space Jam 2: A New Legacy" will be released July 16. James has also been vocal about injuries and wear and tear due to the NBA's quick turnaround following its COVID-delayed season in 2020. He'll likely use the offseason to rest.

James' teammate, Anthony Davis, has reportedly declined Team USA for similar reasons. Davis did not play in Game 5 against the Suns due to a groin injury. He played just five minutes in Game 6.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell pulled out of the Olympics to rest his injured right ankle, according to Wojnarowski.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry will also bow out of playing for Team USA, according to Charania.

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Curry did not take part in the 2016 Olympics due to the Warriors' championship run. He reportedly considered playing for Team USA the past couple weeks, but ultimately opted against it. 

Heat star Jimmy Butler also reportedly declined to play at the Tokyo Olympics.

Despite a report that said he would be playing for Team USA, Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns declined an invitation to join the Olympic team on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Team USA won the gold medal at the last Olympics in 2016. The team's most recent foray internationally did not go as well, with Team USA finishing seventh at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

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